Sunday, May 31, 2009

Housework International Style

Here's another Undomesticated Me news break. This one is about the unequal division about housework around the world. I guess there aren't enough Avos to go around.

Women raise voice for equal division of labor

ISTANBUL - One of the areas where the difference between men and women in Turkey is strikingly apparent is the division of housework. Women from around the world gather in Istanbul this week to tell their experience of how more of them went to business from household activities

The road to equality in the labor force will first pass through equality in housework. This was the main message women from different nationalities shared with their counterparts in Turkey at a conference in Istanbul on Thursday.

Turkey needs a lot of progress to reach an egalitarian division of labor in housework. While a woman in Turkey spends approximately 5 hours and 17 minutes per day (37 hours weekly) taking care of the house, a man spends just 51 minutes a day. Turkey also appears low on the list of European countries when it comes to the share of women in employment.

I'm surprised to see that even in the liberal nation ofAustralia, women still do the bulk of the housework. In 2006, full-time working mothers spent 15 hours a week cooking and cleaning compared with six hours for men. No fair!

I can't imagine devoting more than 5 hours to housework a day, as the Turkish women do. That's more time than I spend on Facebook!

Meanwhile, I'm deeply immersed in Dirt: The Quirks, Habits and Passions of Keeping House, a new anthology edited by Mindy Lewis about a topic very close to Undomesticated Me's heart. I look forward to reading essays by Joyce Maynard, Laura Shaine Cunningham, Pamela Paul and others on their relationship with dirt.

The book features some of my favorite quotes about housework including this zinger from Quentin Crisp:

"There is no need to do any housework at all. After the first four years the dirt doesn't get any worse."

1 comment:

riva said...

Well, Paula, after living in Japan six years I noticed the women did the housework while the men worked and then spent lots of time after work getting drunk. But the payback was the women also controlled the purse strings. Some might say not a bad trade ;)